As the New Year rises on the horizon, my muse and I tend to get a little reflective.
This is the time of the year when I recall past triumphs and failures, and things that just didn’t get done. But, more than anything else, I remember the One.
No, I’m not talking about a romantic relationship. I’m talking about something that, as a writer, transcends relationships and love affairs. It’s that one story that I just can’t let go of. The one I come back to time and again, and which I battle myself every year over whether or not it’s finally time to share it with the world.
So far, every year, the battle remains wholly on the side of “No.”
It’s not that I’m being miserly with my words. I write plenty I’m more than happy to share with everyone else. But there’s that one story that I have a panic attack about every time I try to imagine sending it to a publisher, letting someone else weed through it and make changes.
I think every writer should have one of these stories. One that both keeps us humble when we’re on top, and buoys us up when we’re floundering. One that you keep stashed in the back of a drawer, in the back of a shelf, or anywhere else that no one else would ever dare find it.
Every writer should have that one story that speaks directly to them – that one tale that maybe no one else would understand, and you want to keep free from the “well, I would”s.
As a writer, I need a refuge from the opinions of others – a place where the only thing that matters is whether or not I like the story I’m telling.
As you look forward to the coming year, don’t forget to take a glimpse into the past, as well. Without wherever you’ve been, you wouldn’t be where you are now, or able to tell if the road ahead is brighter.
Have a Happy New Year, everyone!